Perfume Directory

Mambo for Men (2001)
by Liz Claiborne

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Mambo for Men information

Year of Launch2001
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 112 votes)

People and companies

HouseLiz Claiborne
PerfumerCarlos Benaim
PackagingRaison Pure
PackagingLaurent Hainaut
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchClaiborne Cosmetics

About Mambo for Men

Mambo for Men is a masculine fragrance by Liz Claiborne. The scent was launched in 2001 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Carlos Benaim. The bottle was designed by Laurent Hainaut and Raison Pure

Reviews of Mambo for Men

Mambo seemed to be released at a time when everything Liz Claiborne made for men smelled like Curve (1996), regardless of whether or not it was a Curve flanker. Lucky You for Men (2000) was a licensee scent that was effectively "greener Curve" (and thus better), and Mambo was "spicier Curve", which is a really crass summation of the stuff, but so close to the truth it hurts. The itchy facet of Curve which bothered me so much was also present here, and exacerbated worse by the synthetics and spices on display, making this a big "no-can-do" for me. The problem with Mambo is it obstinately tries to maintain that "90's clean" but head into a full-bodied, more complex direction that orientals or gourmands were starting to take by the early 2000's, and it's a compromise that maybe could have worked (Burberry for Men did it pretty well in 1996), but was gone about in all the wrong fashions by nose Carlos Benaim; certainly not his best work. Laurent Hainaut appears to havd made no other fragrances bottle designs according to basenotes information, and it has me wondering why, because Mambo does get served up in a cool bottle, which was the reason 20-year-old me picked up the thing. Ultimately this went to a best friend who ended up falling in love with this, Curve, and the follow-up Bora Bora (2002), which I was loathe to try after striking out so much with Claiborne.

Mambo has the usual 90's/early 2000's hyperbole exotica notes so I won't list them, as some sound like attempts to put lace on a pig (such as saying lavandin in place of lavender), but what you get here is a very barbershop Curve-like opening that doesn't need describing a second time here. The middle notes are where the spices live, with clove, cinnamon, and cumin joined by geranium, rose, orange blossom and muguet. The cumin here is the only ingredient with a sense of purpose, adding that tell-tale sweatiness that denotes this as "sexier" than it's Curve patriarch, but it's too buried in business anyway. The base is all synthetic sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and fir basalm, the latter of which is too green and throws all the other floral/spicy/vanillic ingredients off course. This was almost a good scent if you took away the itchy chemical top and confused heart/base notes. Remove the florals, remove the green, and bam; this could have been a decent oriental cheapie. As it stands, it's the Toys "R" Us kid of oriental hybrid fougères (ironic that Toys "R" Us goes defunct as I write this), meaning it doesn't want to grow up into a solid masculine, but rather keep meandering with musings, inspirations, and ideas, but never commit to a direction. It's not a very good mambo dancer with two left feet.

This might be okay for the guy that wants to color just barely outside the fresh fougère lines, or the kind of person who just occasionally bumps up from the mild salsa to the medium for a rare bit of pleasure outside the comfort zone, but I've never been that guy to be honest. Even if this thing didn't cause a rapid-fire sneeze fit that lasts all day, I still don't know if I'd be able to handle it's confused and mediocre blending of synthetics and mid-tier elements rebranded as luxury ingredients. This is the fully-loaded entry-level Hyundai of oriental/fougère hybrids. It's certainly no Boucheron Pour Homme (1991) or Dior Fahrenheit (1988), and isn't even on the level of an Avon in terms of risque note interplay. It's blending bites in all the ways it shouldn't, and fails to impress in all the ways it needed to for it to be anything more than a "spicy Curve". I remember seeing this on the clearance counter at the perfume section of Sears (which says a lot), next to other Claiborne men's staples, and it was the only product placement with not a single box touched. I really don't think I need to say any more than that.
17th March, 2018
Very synthetic. Extremely spicy and harsh. IMO this is not worth the money even at its current price. Avoid.
30th November, 2016
After dry down it smells something like artificial coconut. Not a masculine fragrance IMO.
27th August, 2016
Smells like Mont Blanc's Individuel.
17th October, 2015
Huge complement getter. I wear many colognes and this is the only one that draws curiosity from both men and women. They love it. I am very comfortable with this scent and it has become a signature of mine over the years. One or two sprays max for the office or gym as it can get strong. It's fruity yet woody, spicy and musky.
23rd August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening is quite nice, a bergamot-lemon-Verbena mix that very soon has a woody-floral note added to it. A bit of patchouli and a very light musk is added too. That sounds complicated and as such could be very nice, but there is surprisingly little development in it and it is very artificial. Initially silage and projection are good, but after the first hour it is close to my skin. Decent overall longevity of about three hours. Overall a neutral score, but if one would take into consideration its
keen pricing, a thumbs up would be justified.
19th November, 2012

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